Media Releases | 8th Dec, 2016

Victorian Opposition to oppose laws to protect Victoria from global warming

"If you’re not supporting stronger laws on global warming, you’re not looking after Victoria’s future. It’s that simple."

Shadow Environment Minister Brad Battin confirmed in Parliament today that the Victorian Opposition will not support the Climate Change Bill 2016 in the Legislative Assembly, missing an important opportunity to create bipartisan support for a safe climate.

The Climate Change Bill 2016 aims to repeal the old Climate Change Act and create a new Act capable of transforming Victoria into a zero emissions economy by the year 2050.

Specifically, the Act proposes to:

  • Establish a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050;
  • Require five-yearly interim emissions targets from 2020 onwards;
  • Improve accountability and transparency on efforts to cut emissions;
  • Ensure all arms of government are factoring climate change impacts and emissions reductions into their decision-making and policy setting.

Environment Victoria’s assessment of the legislation can be found here.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle said today:

“It is extremely disappointing that Victoria’s Opposition party has chosen to vote against laws to guide Victoria’s response to global warming.

“Global warming is a huge threat to every aspect of Victorian life and it is deeply concerning that modest measures to reduce pollution and prepare for global warming have not garnered bipartisan support in the lower house.

“We’ve seen the Federal Coalition all at sea on global warming this week, and now it looks as though Matthew Guy’s Liberals are joining the climate denial and delay camp. Given that polling consistently finds that Victorians support action on global warming, this is poor politics as well as poor policy.

“Matthew Guy’s decision to vote against these laws demonstrates a concerning disregard for Victoria’s future. We can’t have a prosperous future if we have three or four degrees of warming, and if others took the approach that the Coalition is currently demonstrating, then that’s exactly what we’d have.

“The Liberal Party in Victoria hasn’t had a comprehensive environment policy for a decade now, so their actions today are less surprising than disappointing. This was an opportunity for the Coalition to show they’ve moved beyond antiquated jobs-versus-environment thinking and to follow other conservative leaders like Angela Merkel, Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Cameron in taking global warming and creating clean energy jobs seriously.

“The proposed legislation has a significant focus on improving how we plan climate change adaptation – making ourselves better prepared for the impacts of global warming, like worse droughts, more frequent and severe bushfires and more heatwaves. Farmers must be confused about why the Nationals, with such a large rural constituency, would vote against legislation that would help improve the resilience of our agriculture-dependent communities.”

Now the fate of the legislation and Victoria’s climate change response will rest with minor parties in the Upper House.

“We need all sides of politics to get on board with dealing with global warming. Victorians expect their elected representatives in Victorian Parliament to vote for stronger climate laws. If you’re not supporting stronger laws on global warming, you’re not looking after Victoria’s future. It’s that simple.

“We hope the Coalition will reflect on this before the legislation comes before the upper house in 2017.”

For interview and further comment:

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager,
DIRECT: (03) 9341 8112 MOBILE: 0402 512 121